Everyday medicines are things we use on a daily basis to help our bodies manage stress and recover from day to day wear and tear. Diseases have been treated for eons through nutrition, so they are also often born from nutritional deficiencies. One sort of deficiency could be anemia. Anemia has many different forms, from macrocytic to microcytic, and it is typically defined by iron deficiency or absorption issues. Iron is a very important mineral that helps maintain oxygen levels in the blood, which nourishes the distal tissues. When there isn’t enough oxygen to support cellular function, hypoxia tends to manifest. The lack of oxygen can be the underlying reason for pain, fatigue, even disease.
An “everyday medicine” that could help with these issues is dark chocolate! Dark chocolate is very high in iron, as well as xanthines. These nutrients can help the body build better, denser blood, and increase energy by stimulating neurotransmitter behaviors (xanthines include chemicals like caffeine). Additionally, those dark chocolates which are processed minimally are high in fiber. This can help the body to purge accumulations in the GI tract, thus improving the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.
Feeling fatigued? Bite into a bar of chocolate! I recommend taking chocolate around 12PM, the time when the heart’s energy is . The bitter flavor of dark chocolate can help to clear out heat, while tonifying the “yin” of the heart blood. The heaviness of the iron can be very sedative to the mind, and even help with anxiety. This is a reason why chocolate is so coveted by emotional persons.
Tui na is an ancient form of medicine that we all perform, to some extent. When you get a headache and rub your temple, you are performing tui na. You might not know which acupuncture points you are activating, but you are definitely utilizing the local and superficial energetics of your body in order to inspire relief at a biochemical and structural level. Your body is instinctually programmed to self-heal and rejuvenate!
Tui na is similar to massage, but has a greater tradition and assortment of techniques. It uses a lot of theory and methodology derivative from Tradition Chinese Medicine. Meridian theory is something I use a whole lot in my Tui na practice. Meridian theory exposes the trajectories of qi, the body’s life force energy that can be subdivided according to its relationship to yin & yang, as well as each individual organ in the body. Think of it this way: there are many rivers and wires in your body that work together, and when they become blocked, tangled or withered: pain and disorder result.
For example, the stomach meridian begins beneath the eye, centered with the pupil, then descends along the nasal cavities. It is often implicated in nasal allergies, as the stomach mucosa is prone to inflammation (think: crohn’s / gluten intolerance). This can manifest as what modernity refers to as allergies, with swelling and fluid accumulation in the body. When treating such an issue, I might go toward the calf to a point called Zusanli or ST-36. The stomach meridian descends through the anterior body all the way down the leg into the second toe. By utilizing these lower points, we can positively affect the flow of qi which may have coagulated in the upper channels of the body.
Combined with herbal medicine to address deficiencies and excesses, these therapies can lead toward a complete elimination of allergies! Next time you have allergies, try rubbing the tender points along the zygomatic bone, and the muscles of the front calf. A great way to promote self-healing.
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